IN the heart of Shepparton, ConnectGV stands as the leading not for profit, charitable, registered service provider for individuals with disabilities. Celebrating its 70th year of operation, ConnectGV has been a steadfast leader in providing high-quality, person-centred support to its participants. The organisation’s commitment to fostering a fully inclusive and safe community has created a positive impact on countless lives.
CEO, Jacinta Russell, emphasises the organisation’s success, stating, “ConnectGV is well positioned with purpose-built and owned facilities and dedicated staff who lead and understand high-quality support to our participants which are person-centred and best practice.”
The Board of Directors and CEO are navigating a pivotal moment for ConnectGV, focusing on embedding high-quality services and supports while laying the groundwork for further growth to meet the evolving needs of the community.
Reflecting on the journey, Board Chair Scott Kelly acknowledges the invaluable support and advocacy received from the community, politicians, key partners, families, and stakeholders. This collaborative effort has been instrumental in ConnectGV’s ability to make a difference. Scott Kelly expresses gratitude, stating, “Without their support, we couldn’t do what we do.”
This symbiotic relationship has created an organisation that radiates passion, excitement, and personal rewards for everyone associated with it. ConnectGV is not just a service provider; it is a community that acknowledges the collective effort required to achieve its mission.
The heart of ConnectGV lies in the stories of individuals like Antonio (Tony) Conti and Laetitia Nash, who have found not just employment but a sense of belonging and personal growth through the organisation.
Tony Conti, with a rich background working in various roles, found his way to ConnectGV in 2016. Since then, he has worked in packaging, lawn mowing, and currently, Billabong Rags. Tony attributes his improved communication skills, confidence, and team collaboration to his experiences at ConnectGV. He expresses a desire for full-time work, showcasing the transformative impact of ConnectGV on individuals’ lives.
Laetitia Nash, hailing from Wunghnu, shares her journey to finding her place at ConnectGV in 2012. Working in Flower Power, now known as Billabong Flowers, Laetitia has not only honed her skills in flower arrangements but has also developed confidence in community interactions and financial responsibilities. Her increased independence, including using public transport and engaging in social activities, reflects the holistic approach of ConnectGV in enhancing participants’ lives.
As ConnectGV looks towards the future, the organisation remains committed to its core values of empowerment, inclusion, and community support. The personal success stories of individuals like Tony and Laetitia exemplify the transformative impact of ConnectGV’s approach.
ConnectGV’s 70th year marks not just a milestone but a celebration of resilience, community, and the unwavering commitment to empowering lives. With a strong foundation, dedicated leadership, and a community that stands together, ConnectGV continues to be a beacon of hope for individuals with disabilities in the Shepparton region.